http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 14.19Change: -0.02
R/$ = 10.57Change: -0.04
Au 1305.35 $/ozChange: 6.47
Pt 1489.50 $/ozChange: 16.00
 
 
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?








Start
 
End
 
 
And must exclude these words...
Close Main Search
Close Main Login
My Profile News Alerts Newsletters Logout Close Main Profile
 
Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science and Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Contact Us
 
 
 
RSS Feed
epicor
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
 
 
Nov 01, 2013

Does size or age matter when it comes to delivering a good customer experience in manufacturing?

Back
Epicor|Epicor Software|IDC|New Business Solutions|Road|System|Systems|Implement Solutions|Particular Product|Systems|Infrastructure|Martin Hill
Epicor|Road|System|Systems|Systems|Infrastructure|
epicor|epicor-software|idc|new-business-solutions|road|system|systems-company|implement-solutions|particular-product|systems|infrastructure|martin-hill
More Insight

By Martin Hill, Vice President Marketing for Epicor Software in EMEA

It shouldn’t. However, recent research by IDC Manufacturing Insights  shows that 75% of the large manufacturers (5,000 employees or more) surveyed, indicated that their ERP is a vital platform for delivering a good customer experience, due to the levels of ERP integration and higher instances of single ERP systems being used. In contrast, for companies with 100–1,000 employees, over 90% of respondents indicated that their ERP has limited, little or no contribution towards the delivery of a good customer experience.

A customer centric culture should not be exclusive to the big boys. Every company, regardless of size, should be endeavouring to apply and optimise the right technology to help put customers at the very heart of their business.

At its simplest it should be about making quality products at a competitive price, having short production lead times and delivering on time, every time. But increasingly it’s more than just about features, price and delivery, it’s about collaboration and relationship with customers – how they order goods or interact with you to adjust orders or raise an issue. And then there is the internal aspect that can enhance this customer experience. Accessing and analysing data to provide insight and decision making capabilities relating to customer orders, for example, or understanding how many customer complaints have been logged around a particular product or service. To be successful, the data needs to be available anywhere and anytime but the real key is how you react to this information. Customer responsiveness is at its peak if you can respond to a situation and communicate with the customer quickly, regardless of whether you are at your desk or on the road.

These are just some of the aspects of a customer experience which can breed loyalty, repeat business and differentiation, without having to always win business based on price. Furthermore these processes and ways of working are all underpinned by the technology and functionality in the next generation of ERP systems that are available for mid-sized and smaller companies.

Available in various deployment forms and with various financing options, engaging with and serving customers better is not something that just larger companies can afford.

The fact is that the smaller companies continue to have a higher instance of home-grown, multiple ERP systems, or even no ERP at all, which is almost certainly why they say that their ERP has limited, little or no contribution towards the delivery of a good customer experience. Their often outdated and inefficient infrastructure results in data being stored in too many different IT systems that are loosely connected, making it difficult to influence customer satisfaction even at the most basic level.

Old technologies can stop a company dead in its tracks, preventing it from taking customer experience to the next level. It hinders a company and drains them of the inspiration needed for the management team to identify, justify and implement solutions that truly differentiate a company from its competitors.

If this is something you can relate to, perhaps it’s time for you to consider if this situation is stopping you serving and retaining customers in the best way possible, and what impact this has on your bottom line.

It’s not just size that matters, age is also relevant. Mature companies in mature markets are forced to move from tactics such as price and delivery to other ways of differentiating themselves. Growth for them depends on a more mature approach to customer experience to win market share, they simply don’t have a choice.

But if your market isn’t mature, if you’re growing by competing purely on price and delivery, why should you bother with customer experience beyond this? Because your market and competitors will mature around you, perhaps faster than you anticipate and those that will win in the long run will be the ones offering the superior customer experience. Adopting the right technologies and applications now means you can compete on today’s terms today, and tomorrow’s terms tomorrow.

Smart companies build a platform for today with an eye on tomorrow. They avoid having to rip-and-replace systems by working with visionary partners who have an eye focussed on the future. Their partners don’t force them to build capabilities with no immediate ROI that they don’t need today, they help them to build on their systems and add capabilities at the time they need them, like when the market matures, prices have stabilised and the customer demands a better experience. And of course they do it quickly with the intention of keeping their customers ahead of their competitors. That’s inspiring business!

With an emphasis on total cost of ownership, ERP systems for mid-sized manufacturing companies are available based on the latest technologies with the most recent application developments. With ease-of-use, responsiveness and flexibility at their very core, such systems are designed for modern manufacturers and how they need to work to stay competitive. This means that as companies grow, their customers and their ERP system can remain at the heart of the business.

 

New Business Solutions
 

Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter
Comment Guidelines
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other Announcements News
Updated 7 hours ago The final phase of the V&A Waterfront’s Silo district is on track for an early 2017 completion at a substantial investment of R1.5 billion. The district is already home to multiple award-winning No1 and No2 Silo developments, and is the location of the Zeitz Museum...
Updated 7 hours ago The Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry calls on government to consider some of the more fundamental issues relating to the information communication technology sector after the media and social media reaction to the appointment of the President’s daughter as...
In honour of Mandela Day, Anglo American's Coal business invested a further R450,000 in the upliftment of vulnerable people in the Johannesburg area. Two of the social upliftment projects are receiving the funding for the third year this year and one is receiving it...
More
 
 
Latest News
Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim
Updated 5 hours ago South African engineering union Numsa has agreed to end a four-week strike after accepting a wage increase offer from employers, union leader Irvin Jim said on Monday. Numsa, South Africa's largest union, has accepted a 10% annual pay rise fixed for three years for...
Updated 5 hours ago Trade union Solidarity on Monday accepted the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of South Africa’s (Seifsa’s) revised wage offer. The three-year wage agreement, settled within the Metal and Engineering Industries Bargaining Council (MEIBC), comprised...
Rob Davies
Updated 6 hours ago South Africa will use the upcoming US-Africa Leaders' Summit, which will also encompass the 2014 edition of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) Forum, to appeal for a 15-year extension of the nonreciprocal trade arrangement, as well as South Africa’s...
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2014 (PDF Report)
This six-page brief covers key developments in the road and rail industries over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s road and rail network and prospects for both sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Steel 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the steel industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the global and South African steel and stainless steel markets, South Africa’s major steel producers and events that have shaped these markets.
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
Multinational semiconductor chipmaker corporation Intel announced its national campaign to further acquire partners to drive its She Will Connect programme, an initiative that aims to expand digital literacy skills to young women in developing countries, further into...
South Africa's MeerKAT radio telescope array programme should get back on schedule within a few months. This assurance has been given by SKA South Africa (SKA SA) associate director: science and technology Prof Justin Jonas. Early last month, Science and Technology...
The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa’s (PRASA’s) Metrorail service will remain a subsidised service following its current multibillion-rand rolling stock, station, depot and signalling upgrade programme. PRASA group CEO Lucky Montana has allayed fears that...
GARYN RAPSON Contaminated Land Provisions in the National Environmental Management: Waste Act No 59 of 2008 will open the door for court battles to determine who will be held liable for the remediation
The uncertainties around the remediation of affected areas as addressed in the Contaminated Land Provisions in the National Environmental Management: Waste Act No 59 of 2008 will possibly spark litigation and disputes between landowners and businesses, contractors...
South Africa is currently the largest component of the African Development Bank’s (AfDB’s) active portfolio in Southern Africa, comprising 62.5% of the bank’s $7.9-billion exposure to the 12-country region – the second largest beneficiary is Mauritius, which...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
content
Research Reports Close
Research Reports are a product of the
Research Channel Africa. Reports can be bought individually or you can gain full access to all reports as part of a Research Channel Africa subscription.
Find Out More Buy Report
 
 
Close
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks